Thick, rib-sticking, hearty, beefy soup to warm you from the inside out! On a cold day like today in Kitchener, a bowl of homemade Hamburger Soup is a welcomed comfort food in our house.
You could probably complete this soup in about 50 minutes, adding uncooked pasta, barley or rice in the last 15 to 20 minutes. I prefer to leave the soup lazily simmering on the stovetop for a couple hours to allow the flavours of the simple ingredients (ground beef, canned tomatoes, broth, carrots, celery, onions and seasonings) to meld and turn into a thick and delicious melange.
One might question whether the end result is really a stew masquerading as a soup, and meant to be eaten with a fork rather than a soup spoon. And if you make the soup with crushed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes as I have on occasion, you will end up with an even thicker soup! Call it Hamburger Stewp and dig in with a fork, or add broth to thin the mixture a little.
Instead of thyme, Italian seasoning can be used to flavour the soup. Once fully cooked, check the soup for overall seasoning, adding salt and pepper if you find it necessary.
Serve Hamburger Soup with bread, buns or biscuits, and add a salad, if you wish. It’s a simple meal perfect for a cold January day.
This soup freezes well, and as with many soups, it tastes even better the next day!
(Makes 8 servings)
1 lb (500 g) extra lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, thinly sliced (about 1-1/2 cups/375 mL)
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced (about 1-1/2 cups/375 mL)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (1 to 2 mL) dried thyme
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes
1 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce or 1 can (10 oz/284 mL) condensed tomato soup
4 cups (1 L) beef broth or bouillon
1/2 cup (125 mL) uncooked barley or broken spaghetti
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Cook beef, onion, garlic, carrots and celery in a large frying pan or soup pot over medium-high heat until meat is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; drain off any fat.
Stir in thyme, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes to 1-1/2 hours.
Stir in pasta; simmer until pasta is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve garnished with parsley, if desired.